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Press Release

Colorado man admits criminal endangerment charge for vehicle crash on Blackfeet Indian Reservation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

GREAT FALLS — A Colorado man accused of drinking alcohol and causing a one-vehicle crash on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in which a passenger suffered significant injuries admitted to a criminal endangerment charge today, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Bryson Elijah Owens-Johnson, 29, of Denver, Colorado, pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging him with criminal endangerment. Owens-Johnson faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing was set for July 17. Owens-Johnson was released pending further proceedings.

In court documents, the government alleged that on July 29, 2021, near St. Mary, on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Owens-Johnson was drinking with co-workers at a local bar. The group left the bar at closing time and six of them got into Owens-Johnson’s sedan. Owens-Johnson was traveling north on Highway 89 when he veered off the road, striking the guardrail almost head-on and damaging multiple steel and wood posts connected to it. Witnesses confirmed that everyone had been drinking alcohol at the local bar and that Owens-Johnson had been looking at his phone and veering on the roadway. Medical records from the Indian Health Service showed that Owens-Johnson had a blood alcohol concentration of .093 almost two hours after the crash was reported. One of the passengers, identified as John Doe, who is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Indian Tribe, suffered significant injuries and continues to receive ongoing medical care.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kalah A. Paisley is prosecuting the case. The Montana Highway Patrol, Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services and FBI conducted the investigation.



Clair J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated March 19, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-69